Obama: US offered counterintelligence aid to France

Speaking after French police put down two terror sieges, President Barack Obama said Friday he offered law enforcement and counterintelligence support to America's oldest ally.

Twelve people—journalists and police officers—were killed Wednesday when gunmen conducted a brazen terrorist attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Obama pledged to the French people that in the wake of the attack "the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow."

"We fight alongside you to uphold our values, the values we share, universal values that bind us together as friends and as allies," the president declared, adding "we stand for freedom, hope, and the dignity of all human beings and that's what the city of Paris represents to the world."

Read MoreSeveral hostages killed in Paris kosher market siege: Reports

Two suspects, Said Kouachi, 34 and his 32-year-old brother, Cherif, led French security forces on one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history. After a hostage situation, both brothers were killed in a raid on a factory where they had holed up, according to multiple reports.

Late on Wednesday a third suspect,18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, turned himself into police. French media quoted friends as saying he was in school class at the moment of the attack.

Separately, at least four people including a gunman were killed during a siege at a kosher supermarket in Paris, according to NBC News. The gunman reportedly threatened to kill his hostages if authorities launched an assault on the Kouachi brothers.

President Barack Obama waves to the audience as he arrives to speak at Pellissippi State Community College, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn.
Mark Humphrey | AP Photo
President Barack Obama waves to the audience as he arrives to speak at Pellissippi State Community College, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Obama spoke from Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee, where he proposed making two years of community college free for students. If the president successfully implements the program across the country, 9 million students could take advantage of the program annually, according to White House.

"Here in America, we don't guarantee equal outcomes," Obama said, explaining the reasoning plan. "But we do expect that everybody gets an equal shot."

With this outlook in mind, Obama said that every American "should be able to earn the skills and education necessary to compete and win in the twenty-firs century economy."

Official estimates put the plan's cost to the federal government's around $60 billion over 10 years.

Read MoreObama proposes idea of two free years of community college

In addition to voicing concerns over too much government spending, some Republicans have criticized the president's proposal as not fully formed, with a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner telling The Associated Press, "With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan."

Obama insisted in his Tennessee address that "this isn't a blank check, it's not a free lunch," but students who keep their grades up and states who pay for a portion can benefit from the program.

The White House said Thursday that the funding details of the proposal will be included in Obama's annual budget.

Congress will need to approve of the plan before the program can begin.